What did religious authority look like during the time of Jesus? :shrug:
I don’t know for sure since I wasn’t there at the time. However, I’ve read that there were about 24 different Jewish sects and even differences within the sects of Judaism: for example, diverse views within the competing Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, and so forth. Pharisees were more egalitarian than Sadducees, who were more of the priestly sort. There is a vast amount of research as well as speculation on the topic, some of which can be found on the Internet.