Maker - Trench's New Testament Synonyms


demiourgos (G1217) Maker
technites (G5079) Builder
"Builder and maker" cannot be regarded as a very satisfactory translation of the technites kai demiourgos of Hebrews 11:10, since "maker" says little more than "builder." These translations were introduced by Tyndale and have been retained in all subsequent Protestant translations. Wycliffe used "craftyman and maker," and the Rheims Version used "artificer and builder." According to Delitzsch, God as technites laid out the scheme and blueprint of the heavenly city, and as demiourgos he embodies the divine idea or thought in actual form and shape. This distinction is the same as that made in the Vulgate and in modern times by Meyer Although this understanding has the advantage of naming first what isfirstthe divine intention precedes the divine realizationunfortunately it assigns a meaning to technites that is difficult, if not impossible, to find examples of. It is not unworthy of God to conceive of him as the drawer of the ground plan of the heavenly city, and in the Epistle to the Hebrews we might expect to find such a reference. No other New Testament or Septuagintal use of technites even hints at such a meaning. This is also true of the use of technites in nonbiblical Greek. Although I believe that demiourgos and technites may and should be distinguished, I am unable to accept the preceding distinction.
Demiourgos is one of those grand and (for rhetorical purposes) finely selected terms that constitute one of the remarkable and unique features of the Epistle to the Hebrews and that make it so stylistically different from the other epistles. In addition to its single occurrence in Hebrews 11:10, demiourgos is used once in the Apocrypha (2 Macc. 4:1) and not at all in the Septuagint. Initially, the proper meaning of demiourgos was "one whose works stand forth to the public gaze." Later, the public character of the works was dropped and "maker" or "author," on more or less a grand scale, is all that remained. Demiourgos is a favorite word of Plato, and he used it in different ways. Thus rhetoric is the demiourgos of persuasion. By virtue of its presence or absence, the sun is the demiourgos of day or night. God is the demiourgos of mortal men. There is no hint in Scripture that demiourgos was adopted into the theosophical or philosophical speculations of the age, nor is there any foreboding of the prominent part this word would play in coming struggles, though some of these were close at hand.
If God as the demiourgos is recognized as the maker of all things, technites, which often is used with demiourgos, brings out the additional idea of the artistic side of creation. This justifies Cicero's reference to God as "artificer of the universe," one who molds and fashions in many marvelous ways the materials that by a prior act of his will he called into existence. If demiourgos emphasizes the power of the divine Creator, then technites expresses his manifold wisdom, the infinite variety and beauty of his handiwork. "How manifold are Your works; in wisdom have You made them all!" All the beauty of God's world proclaims him as its author, as the "Creator of its beauty," as a writer in the Apocrypha called him. Bleek was nearer the mark when he wrote: "Technites here likewise denotes the Creator but with reference to the artistic in the production of his work." He also quoted Wisdom of Solomon 13:3: "Although informed previously by his works, they did not come to know the Artificer [techniten]. "There is a certain difficulty in reversing the order of the words as they appear in Hebrews 11:10, that is, having demiourgos precede technites. This change in order, however, is not as great a problem as retaining the order and allowing it to dominate our interpretation.

Trench's New Testament Synonyms Topics