Bringing the Text to Life

The Surgical Scriptures Hebrews 4:12-16

The Surgical Scriptures

An artist uses surgical tools to carve books into masterpieces. Our text reminds us that there's a book that shapes and carves us into masterpieces.

At a Glance

You'll be amazed when you take a look at the artistry of Brian Dettmer, whose art consists of cutting up books. To do it, he uses the tools of a surgeon. Not much of a stretch to link this amazing stuff to today's text from the epistle to the Hebrews.

Editors' Pick

For material based on the gospel text ("The Rich Young Ruler"), see "The Hoarder," October 11, 2009, at

Brian Dettmer approaches a book like a surgeon. You might think that's a metaphor for the way he dissects and exegetes the text, but in his case it's actually quite literal. Dettmer approaches every book with an actual scalpel and does some actual textual surgery, carving old books into masterpieces.

Dettmer is an artist and his three-dimensional book carvings are truly stunning (see the pictures on the website link below). He cuts out certain parts and pages of old encyclopedias, medical journals, dictionaries or illustration books with exacting precision and leaves behind ...

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