[quote="GEddie, post:16, topic:308390"]
The KJV New Testament Greek Lexicon
Strong's Number: * 5045 *
Original Word Word Origin
tevktwn from the base of (5098)
Transliterated Word TDNT Entry
Phonetic Spelling Parts of Speech
tek'-tone* * Noun Masculine
a worker in wood, a carpenter, joiner, builder
a ship's carpenter or builder
any craftsman, or workman
the art of poetry, maker of songs
a planner, contriver, plotter
To give an expanded version of my earlier reply:
The word tekton is related to the word techne (τέχνη, 'craft', 'skill', 'art'; cf. technology). It is thought to derive from the Proto-Indo-European root *tek[sup]s[/sup] which generally signified 'to work with an axe' or 'to fashion'. However, the Greeks have been using the axe (/labryspelekys) to fashion not just wood, but also stone, since ancient times. It therefore seems accurate to describe tekton as essentially meaning a craftsman who used strong tools to fashion hard and lasting materials, be it wood or stone or metal.
In Homer, tektones seems to denotes shipbuilders, housebuilders, and masons. As it is, tekton is too general a word: in order to denote which type of 'artisan' one is speaking, one should specify which material said tekton specializes in: for example, something like 'tekton of wood'. We can see this in the Septuagint translation of 2 Samuel (5:11): "And King Chiram of Tyre sent messengers to Dauid and cedar wood and craftsmen of wood and craftsmen of stones (τέκτονας ξύλων καὶ τέκτονας λίθων, tektonas xylōn kai tektonas lithōn), and they built Dauid a house."
Historically speaking, a woodworker would probably not have had much to do in a place like Nazareth. Peasants did not own too much furniture (at most, a family might own a low table, but not much else), and good wood was scarce in the area (high-quality timber was imported, and would obviously hardly have turned up in a rural hamlet like Nazareth). In fact, wood was mainly used only to make utensils and tools and some architectural features like roof beams, doors, and door frames. On the contrary, stone was more important, because it was used as building material and even as tableware alongside pottery (cups, mugs, bowls, etc.) If Joseph and Jesus were 'craftsmen', their area of expertise would not have probably just been limited to woodworking: they would have worked as stonemasons, housebuilders (plenty of opportunities with Sepphoris close by - at least while it is still being built), repairmen fixing things like farming implements or boats. Heck, they may have also dabbled in a bit of farm work.
The tradition that Joseph and Jesus were specifically woodworkers who made ploughs and yokes, attested as early as Justin Martyr and the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, may have been motivated by a desire to draw a symbolic parallel between the wooden yoke and the wood of the cross.