Bruce, F.F. The Book of Acts Revised. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1988. Kindle Electronic Edition. “Acts 2” “ I. The Birth of the Church (1:1-5:42)” “E. The Apostles Before the Sanhedrin (5:12-42)” pp. 107-118.
Bruce notes verses 12-16 of Acts 15 as a transition between the incident with Ananias and Sapphira and the material to follow. It seems that, at the same time, those who were unsure of their trust in Christ were departing but others were believing and being converted (Bruce 1988, 108). The apostles were performing miracles without seemingly being aware of the needs. This news would naturally spread.
Verses 17-21 show the apostles’ arrest by the Jewish leaders and their release by an angelic messenger. They were commanded to proclaim the Gospel in the temple, which they did (Bruce 1988, 109). Bruce details the differences between this and the arrest accountin chapter 4, concluding that this is a separate account. Luke is very clear that the escape from prison included divine agency (Bruce 1988, 110). The escape was discovered and the apostles re-arrested in verses 21-26. The authorities found that the apostoles had supporters. Therefore, the arrest was made without force. Bruce notes that the apostles were apparently cooperative (Bruce 1988, 111).
In verses 27-32 the apostles explained their intent to continue as witnesses of Jesus (Bruce 1988, 113). They made it very clear what they understood Jesus’ work to be - dying at the hands of sinful men to purchase forgiveness for all who believe. Verses 33-40 record some debate in the Sanhedrin. The division between Sadducees and Pharisees was sharp enough to provoke a time of debate (Bruce 1988, 114). The Pharisee amaliel persuaded the council that God would eventually accomplish his will (Bruce 1988, 115). Bruce traces Gamaliel’s string of evidence in brief based on historic sources. In verses 41-42, the apostles continue to bear witness to Jesus, just as they had promised (Bruce 1988, 117).