Halachic Authority has really got me questioning in circles. There are so many facets, and I see such importance for the subject, that I don't take it lightly.
Before I begin I will make a few brief comments for those who are unfamiliar with Halacha.

Halachic authority is the authority to make decisions interpreting the Torah forbidding and permitting activities based on these interpretations, and resolving matters between fellow believers. The word "halacha" means "the way to walk." Torah observance requires halachic authority for three reasons. First there are matters about which the Torah is ambiguous and must be clarified. For example the matter of what a "bill of divorcement" must actually say is not clarified. Secondly is the matter of conflicting Torah commands. For example the Torah requires the priests to circumcise on the eight day after a birth, but also requires rest from work on the Sabbath. Which commandment holds priority? Finally the Torah requires us to establish courts (see Deut. 16:18).

The Halachic authorit was originally given to Moshe (ex. 8:13). But this was too great a task for Moshe to handle by himself, as there were millions of Isrealites in the land at that time. So G-d gave the same authroity to a council of elders (Ex. 18:13-26; Dt. 1:9-18) This is what became known as the "seat of Moshe". Their judgements were regarded as the judgement of G-d himself (Dt. 1:17) and were even called "Torah" (Dt. 17:11) This council became known as the seventy elders whom G-d put His Ruach upon (Num. 11:16-17; 24-25).

Halachic Authority was also held by kings. This became termed as "The key David"(Is. 22:21-22). These kings were seen as sitting on the "throne of G-d".

In the time of Yeshua (and some time previous to that) Judaism was made up of variuos sects. The Sadducees held control of the council for some time, but then by Yeshua's time the Halachic authority was divided. Each of the various sects had their own Halachic councils with their own Halachic authority.

There were two main Sanhedrins, a great asssembly, at this time. The first was more a political functioning that was more or less an instrument of Rome. Josephus wrote much about this Sanhedrin. This one was made up of both Pharisees and Sadducees. Then the other, by contrast, was made up soley of Pharisees and these Pharisees were strictly scholars. Hillel and Gameliel were both the Nasi (sort of like a president) of this Sanhedrin.

The Qumran community, who were essenes, also had their own coucil to determine halacha. They saw themselves as the "sons of light" and were not to mingle with the "sons of darkness" (Man. of Disc. I,9; II, 24). Thus they created their own Sanhedrin.

So as we can see Halachic authority was very fragmented at this time.

There are still two main issues before I move onward.
The sect that was established by Shaul, Ya'cov, and Kefa became known as the Nazarenes. This can be seen in the book of acts in various places. Acts 15, Here we are shown a Halachic court which has worldwide authority and which seems to be led by Ya'akov HaTzadik (James the Just) as Nasi and Kefa (Peter) as Av Beit Din.
There is no question that they had their own beit din (house of elders), but the second issue is this: Where did they get their authority to make Halachic decisons?

I think that many passages of the Moshiach have been twisted, and through this twisting they have lost the deeper meaning.

Mt. 23:2-3 Yeshua makes a surprising statement, he says:

"The Scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, That observe and keep. but do not according to their works; for they say, and do not."

This seems to enforce the disciples to follow the authority of the Pharisees. But then there is the newly discovered Hebrew text of Matthew that predates all other Brit Chadasha texts by 100 years. This is what it has to say:

"Upon the seat of Moses the Pharisees and sages sit. Now all which he says to you keep and do; but their ordinances and deeds do not do because they say, and do not."

There are some that argue that however it reads, Yeshua was not imploiring them to follow blindly all Pharisiac Halacha, because in vs. 16-22 he clearly opposed a point of Pharisiac Halacha.

Then in Luke 11:52 he rebukes the Pharisees for taking away the "key". This "key" is probably in reference to Is. 22:22:

"The key of the House of David I will lay on his shoulder; so he shall open, and no one shall shut; and he shall shut and no one shall open."

This key is then made clear to be Halachic authority.

Then In Mt. 16:18-19 Yeshua says he would give "the keys of the Kingdom" to Kefa and his students:

"And I also say to you that you are Kefa, And upon this rock I will build my assembly, and the gates of Sheol shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in Heaven and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."

We can also see this in Matthew 18:15-20

"18:15 "If your brother sins against you, go, show him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained back your brother. 18:16 But if he doesn't listen, take one or two more with you, that at the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 18:17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the assembly. If he refuses to hear the assembly also, let him be to you as a Goy or a tax collector. 18:18 Amayn I tell you, whatever things you will bind on eretz will be bound in heaven, and whatever things you will loose on eretz will be loosed in heaven. 18:19 Again, amayn I tell you, that if two of you will agree on eretz concerning anything that they will ask, it will be done for them by my Father who is in heaven. 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them."

Here Yeshua refers to an assembly that has the power to bind and loose. These are two Semitic idioms used in Rabbinic literature as technical terms referring to Halachic authority. To "bind" means to "forbid" an activity and to "loose" means to permit an activity.

Another issue also comes out of this following verse:

"And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock
of offence to both the houses of Israel…"

The ancient Nazarene texts explain the two houses as the two houses of Shammai and Hillel, and these two houses did not accept the moshiach.

The final quote I bring to you comes from the Nazarene commentary on Isaiah 8:20-21:

"The Scribes and the Pharisees tell you to listen to them… answer them like this:
"It is not strange if you follow your traditions since every tribe consults its own
idols. We must not, therefore, consult your dead [sages] about the living ones…."

So it is clear that the original Nazarenes were not "following Pharisaic Rabbinical Halakhah."

My questions arise out of these matters.

1) There are still fragmented beit dins in the world today.
2) Did the Halachic authority Yehsua establish continue, or has it passed away for a time, and with what proof?
3) What about a Halacha that may contradict Torah?
4) Are we supposed to submit ourselves to a beit din, and if so, which one?
5) Are we supposed to ignore the every established beit din that does not believe in the Moshiach? Or are we to respect their authority?
6) What if two beit din Halachas conflict?
7) "Who" was intended to receive the Halachic authority that Yeshua ordained? His disciples? Others to follow? All believers (I don't think that I belive that one)?
8) Should we establish a beit din comprised of Jewish Believers, as the Nazarenes did?
9) How binding is Halachic authority?
10) Is Halachic authority still even respected by G-d?

These are just a few questions to get this discussion rolling
Shalom and blessings to all,