Chapter one is a general survey of how the Gospels have been traditionally approached by the Church throughout the ages. Of course, the earliest Christians dated the books much earlier than do modern day scholars. They also accepted traditional `tags' that came along with each book, and by `tags' I mean traditions that were linked to them; they accept that Mark's Gospel was the personal testimony of Peter and that, at least to Papias, Matthew was written originally in a Hebrew dialect. Many of these traditions are now, for the most part, reject by scholars. This chapter also deals with the Synoptic problem and the widely accept hypothesis of "Q", a hypothetical document that both Matthew and Luke used as a source to write their Gospels. (see pp 37-47)
Chapter two deals with new critical methods that scholars have used to understand the literary composition of the Gospels. Personally I feel this chapter is sort of a dry read, but tremendously informative. Blomberg analyses the strengths and weaknesses of form, redaction, literary, and midrash criticism. Blomberg goes on to make a great piont/argument that I wish to highlight here. Granting that Mark's Gospel was the first one written in about 70 C.E., how can we know during the 40 year period between Jesus' death and the first Gospel composition that the oral Jesus tradition wasn't corrupted, and, consequently, infected with corrupted tradition of Jesus sayings, stories and deeds?
Forty years isn't that long, comparatively speaking.
"Eyewitnesses of Jesus' ministry, including hostile ones, could easily have refuted and discredited the Christian claims during this period if they were in any way mistaken" (p 53)
Eyewitness testimony of Jesus' life and ministry could produce accurate information, witnesses are not limited to apostles since every single character (person) in the Gospels in a potential eyewitness to the life of Jesus.
If "Q" dating to about the 50's was a real document, that gets us even close to the person of Jesus than does a literary work 40 years removed from the event.
Just as the students of ancient Jewish rabbis would take and carry notes of their master's teachings, so would have the disciples of Jesus when passing on oral tradition by means of preaching from door to door and from house to house.
In conjunction with point 5, while the disciples passed along oral tradition, they could have also corrected any phony stories that were circulating at the time. This applies not only for the 40 period of no literary tradition, but all the way up to the end of the first century culminating in John's death. That's a period of 70 years, which, for the large part, had eyewitnesses supporting the Jesus tradition.
The last point which I wish to highlight (though there are many more) is the study of A. B. Lord on oral tradition. Lord studied a Yugoslavian folk singer who would recite `epic stories' of 100,000 words in length, but, amazingly, he would recite the whole story with anywhere between 90 to 60% accuracy. And when the singer would get a part of the story wrong, those familiar with the epic would correct the singer. In a similar manner, those reciting the Jesus tradition were be very able to produce accurate accounts of Jesus' sayings and deeds.
Next chapter (3) deals with the issue of miracles. It's probably one of the more interesting sections in the book. He deals with the other "miracles" in the apocryphal books as well as the ones in other Greek and Roman sources. He shows why the miracles that are sometimes erroneously said to be "parallels" to the synoptics truly aren't and gives good reasons to reject their actually taking place. He uses and cites many of the arguments for miracles by William Lane Craig and other fairly well known apologists. So, if you're familiar with those arguments you may find this chapter redundant; but for those who haven't read or seen those arguments, it'd be a welcoming chapter. Of course, out of all the miracles the big miracle of them all is the Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. He defends the resurrection adequately in my opinion, often times drawing heavily from N.T. Wright while defending the physical, fleshly resurrection of Jesus.
Chapter 4 focuses on the so called contradictions of the Synoptics. This chapter is specifically why I recommend that before anyone reads this book, they read the Gospels thoroughly, preferably more than once if possible. If you don't, you'll be lost in this chapter for sure [or, at least in large part]. He touches on the claims that the Synoptics have conflicting theologies, chronological problems, omissions, composite speeches, differences in names and numbers, and on much more issues. He concludes that the reason why so many people believe the Synoptics are contradictory is because they "have never seriously interacted with the types of solutions proposed" in his book and in other writings." (195) The last point is very true. Many critics of the Bible, but specifically of the Gospels, simply dismiss the possibility of harmonization as "special pleading", which is unfair because it robs the Evangelists of their integrity.
The problems in the Gospel of John is what Chapter 5 interacts with. John is usually viewed separately and distinct from the Synoptics because it's simply just different from them not only in style, but in content as well. However, as Blomberg rightfully points out, critics usually don't point out the similarities between John and the Synoptics even though they are "much more complementary than is normally admitted." (203) In this chapter, Blomberg deals with the discrepancies between the Synoptics and John as it pertains to Jesus' death, theologies, passover, chronological issues, and other problems that are often pointed out. In the end, he concludes that many scholars are just too fast to simply castigate the Gospel of John than give in to the better solutions out there for harmonization of the Gospels. Again, he points out there sometimes scholars don't spend that much time looking into the issues as they probably ought to.
Chapter 6 and the Jesus-Tradition outside the Gospels. In this chapter Blomberg surveys Graeco-Roman sources (that is, historians such as Julius Africanus, Pliny the Younger, etc), Jewish sources including Rabbinic traditions, which not coincidentally had much to say about Jesus, Josephus, and extra-biblical Christian traditions (Epistle of Barnabas and Shepherd of Hermas). Blomberg also briefly surveys the Apostolic Fathers, specifically Ignatius, 1 Clement and Polycarp. He also covers the Apocryphon of James, Gospel of Philip, Gospel of truth and other less known, but relevant gospels. Finally, he surveys the rest of the New Testament for what can be said of the Jesus Tradition. Blomberg concludes by saying that "the external evidence for the Gospel traditions reinforces the confidence in their historical reliability, which the internal evidence has been building in previous chapters." (295)
All in all, it's a great book. This work is highly documented as Blomberg cites over 100 sources that can be found in his bibliography. The amount of citations are not just there for show. These citations demonstrate how strong a case can be made for the historical reliability of the Gospels, as even some critics are forced to admit. The volume also includes an authors index and a Scriptures index for easy referencing.