M. Scott Bashoor. Visual Outline Charts of the New Testament. Revised and expanded. El Cajon, CA: SCS Press, 2020. 108 pages. $24.99 (paperback).
An often-overlooked means of growing in one’s understanding of Scripture is the use of visual aids—including charts, graphs, and maps. In the revised and expanded edition of Visual Outline Charts of the New Testament, M. Scott Bashoor—a Faculty Associate in the Old Testament and Bible Exposition divisions at The Master’s University and Seminary in Los Angeles, where he is also a Ph.D. student—has provided a valuable resource for those whose study of Scripture would benefit from the accompanying use of such visual aids.
At the heart of this work, as the book’s title suggests, are Bashoor’s charts. The charts are decidedly robust in content, while also being logically organized. They are sorted by genre (different colors being used for the various genres of NT writing), book, and major and minor sections within each book, with clearly worded headings assigned to each. In his Introduction, Bashoor provides an easy-to-decipher key for following the charts, with the aim of maximizing their use as a study tool. Whether the reader is working devotionally through Ephesians or, as a pastor, deciding which pericope to preach in the Gospel of Matthew, readers will not be left rudderless in navigating their way through the charts.
Bashoor intends this book to be practically applicable for readers of all levels. He offers several suggested uses for the charts, including the pastor’s study, a Bible college or seminary classroom, discipleship settings, and the believer’s personal study. The book is targeted not only at building up one’s mental scaffolding through visual aids but at furthering the reader’s spiritual growth and development as well. Finally, the volume bears significant theological weight and is no mere picture book. Before readers lay eyes on a chart pertaining to any of the NT books, they will first encounter several helpful paragraphs which introduce that specific book. Much like study Bible notes or a NT survey, Bashoor has skillfully built a “front porch” of important introductory content, which the reader will pass through before entering the “house” and engaging with the charts. While a picture may indeed be worth a thousand words, Bashoor in no way dispenses with the written word as a necessary tool.
In an attempt to push back against our present age of perpetual adolescence, there may be a tendency to view a book of charts as necessarily lacking theological depth or pastoral weight. However, neither charge can be laid against Bashoor’s work. Written by a man with feet in both the pastorate and the academy, Visual Outline Charts of the New Testament is characterized by clarity of content, practical application, and theological depth which should be of great benefit to church members, pastors, Bible teachers, and theological students alike.
CBS book notices provide brief descriptive summaries and assessments of new publications in biblical studies and biblical theology. CBS book notices are not full academic book reviews. The present book notice was written by Jesse Randolph, pastor at Mission Bible Church in Tustin, CA and Th.M. student at The Master’s Seminary.