Any Bible scholars or practicing Jews: Wouldn’t a rabbi have to have a wife to be taken seriously, or am I misunderstanding the practices back then?
My understanding, limited as it is, is that rabbis have an obligation to marry.
Rabbis did not exist until after the 2nd century Jewish diaspora.
I think that, just like today, it was probably customary.
Now, Jesus was called “rabbi”, but that seems to have been a title of respect and not a formal job title. He wasn’t, for example, attached to a particular synagogue, and he didn’t receive formal training under other rabbis, as would have been the custom. So, I don’t think it would be surprising if he didn’t conform to the customs of rabbis in other ways.
you are missing the point. If Jesus had a wife, there is no reason that it wouldn’t have been mentioned in the early gospels and traditions. There is no theological problem with a married Jesus. The theological problem is that it is trying to prove the Bible, the early church fathers, and the traditions of the church are wrong.
Jesus’ relatives helped run the church in Jerusalem, and were known, but there is no early mention of a wife or kids.