Plato refers to the Demiurge frequently in the Timaeus as the entity who "fashioned and shaped" the material world. Plato describes the Demiurge as unreservedly good and hence desirous that the world should be as good as possible. The reason why the world is imperfect is that the Demiurge had to work on pre-existing chaotic matter.
Gnosticism also presents this distinction between the overall "creator" and the Demiurge. However, in contrast to Plato, many systems of Gnostic thought present the Demiurge as being antagonistic to the will of the Supreme Creator, the Demiurge being focused solely on material reality and the "sensuous soul". In this context the Demiurge can be characterised as the "Satan" of Gnostic thought. In the Apocrypphon of John (in the Nag Hammadi collection), the Demiurge is characterised as "Yaltabaoth", who proclaims himself as God:
The concept of the Demiurge does not reconcile easily with Christian philosophy. The Platonic interpretation seems to presuppose the pre-existence of matter (in a chaotic form) and this conflicts with the Judeo-Christian concept of an all-powerful creator who fashioned the universe out of nothingness (ex nihilo). While the concept of Satan is well-defined in Christian literature, most theologians reject the notion that Satan (or an equivalent being) could also be the creator of the physical universe, this being the achievement of the Supreme God.