This is not mean to be a full-fledged post on the matter, just putting my thoughts on paper.
οἱ δὲ λαβόντες τὰ ἀργύρια ἐποίησαν ὡς ἐδιδάχθησαν. καὶ διεφημίσθη ὁ λόγος οὗτος παρὰ Ἰουδαίοις μέχρι τῆς σήμερον [ἡμέρας] (Mat 28:15)
Nearly all translations render that phrase as ‘among the Jews’, but ‘literally’ is reads, ‘among Jews’. Is there a difference between the two phrases?
If Matthew’s author was a Jew (Matthew’s Gospel is heavily Jewish), and writing to fellow Jews (not fellow Christians, or rather, to Gentile believers in the Messiah) then he would not have been polemic, would he? He would not have said ‘the Jews’ as if he is of a different religion, but acknowledged that his fellow Jews were saying things, and had this acknowledgment from inside the Jewish community.
The way I understand this portion of Matthew is that the author is speaking to Jews, acknowledging that it is commonly said, that the disciples stole the body of Jesus, which for me doesn’t allow ‘the Jews’ to be painted as gossips. Instead, it turns Matthew into an evangelist to the same Jews who are saying those things as if he is saying ‘Yes, among us Jews, it is said that the disciples stole the body of the Messiah, but…’
What do you think?