Mazza, Enrico. "Chapter Three: The Eucharist of 1 Corinthians 10:16-17 as Related to Didache 9-10." The Origins of the Eucharistic Prayer (tr. Ronald E. Lane). Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1995, 66-97.
Mazza observes that three significant studies (Koster 1957, Audet 1958, Glover 1958) have concluded that the Didache shows no familiarity with the canonical texts of the New Testament (Mazza 1995, 66). At the most, we can assume knowledge of some Christian traditions and/or writings which informed the New Testament authors.
To explore this concept, Mazza analyzes 1 Corinthians, which Mazza understands as being focused on "whether or not eating flesh sacrificed to idols is lawful or unlawful" (Mazza 1995, 67). While in the early part of the Epistle, Paul allows for eating and drinking anything, even things sacrificed to idols, he later points out that in light of the Eucharist and its effect toward eternal life, it is folly to participate in eating and drinking with idolatrous intent (Mazza 1995, 68). The center of Paul's argument, as Mazza sees it, is that the Eucharist is the participation in Christ, creating communion. The eucharistic passages are thus central to the letter, particularly 1 Cor. 10:14-22.
Mazza notes that 1 Cor. 10 descri bes the eucharist in cup-bread order, while chapter 11 orders it bread-cup. 1 Cor. 10 is the parallel to Didache 9 (Mazza 1995, 69). Mazza considers it important to identify the actual order in Corinth so as to determine if there is a true structural analogy to Didache 9. After considering various scholarly studies, Mazza concludes that 1 Cor. 10 and 11 may be speaking of current eucharistic practice and the Last Supper, respectively. However, these are theologically and doctrinally identical, though the order of events is different, hence the order becomes irrelevant (Mazza 1995, 72)
The argument of 1 Cor. 10:16-22 then becomes an argument for unity with Christ, Mazza concludes, after a review of the important research on Paul's use of the words for body in the passage. The critical word in the argument becomes koinonia (Mazza 1995, 77).
Mazza returns to his earlier question about the reason for the inversion of the sequence of elements. It is apparently not tied to the overall argument of Paul (Mazza 1995, 78). Mazza concludes that the cup-bread sequence must have been "a liturgical fact that Paul derived from the actual structure of the Eucharistic celebration of the Church at Corinth" (Mazza 1995, 79). Mazza sees this as capable of confirmation with a pre-existing liturgical text. This is found in the Didache, which alone presents the sequence of cup-bread.
Mazza finds and evaluates five similarities between Didache 9 and 1 Cor. 10:16ff: "(1) the rite of the cup; (2) the rite of the bread; (3) the theme of unity; (4) the cup-bread-unity sequence . . .' ant (5) the literary form of the embolism" (Mazza 1995, 80). He discusses each in turn.
The rite of the cup is referred to in 1 Corinthians as the "cup of blessing." Mazza finds from rabbinic practice that this implies a cup of wine with a specific prescribed benediction (Mazza 1995, 82). The blessing rite of the cup and of the bread were treated as independent rites, evidenced by Paul, Luke, and rabbinic practice. This is also the practice in Didache 9.2, in which the cup has its own blessing which can stand alone (Mazza 1995, 83).
Mazza describes the rite of the bread in less detail, as it is strongly homologous to the rite of the cup. However, the term used in the Didache and in Paul issignificant. Paul refers to the breaking of the bread (κλάω), while the Didache does not use the verb but refers to the bread as "fragments" (κλάσματα) (Mazza 1995, 84). Mazza observes that in Jewish tradition bread had to be broken for sharing, so the word for fragment became common. A "breaking of bread" then was early taken to be the particular celebration of the Lord's Supper (Mazza 1995, 85).
The prayer of Didache 9 seeks unity based on the bread, just as 1 Cor. 10:17 expresses unity based on the bread (Mazza 1995, 85). The outcome in both texts is the same, a unity of the body of Christ.
Mazza notes that both Didache 9 and 1 Cor. 10 have the prayer over the cup, over the bread, and for unity, in that order. He sees this construction of three prayers with rubrics introducing only the parts for the cup and the bread to be distinctive and to show a relationship of the texts (Mazza 1995, 86-87).
Mazza's reference to an "emobolsim" on unity may require some explanation. Mazza uses the term for an insertion of an idea. Here, the idea of unity is not an autonomous statement, but in both 1 Cor. 10 and Didache 9 it is inserted into the ritual of bread. It does not have an introductory statement setting it apart (Mazza 1995, 87).
Mazza turns to the dating of the text of the Didache. If it is earlier than the date known for 1 Corinthians we may at least have a terminus ad quem (Mazza 1995, 90). The texts both contain descriptions of the eucharist. However, it is only in 1 Cor. 10, not in the Didache, that we have theological explanations of the body and blood of Christ (Mazza 1995, 91). This suggests that 1 Cor. 10 is a later development of the ideas in Didache 9. Mazza notes that liturgy normally evolves more slowly than theology (Mazza 1995, 92). This can epxlain, for instance, the liturgy based on the cup-bread pattern, while practice followed the berad-cup pattern. As Christianity spread, κλάσμα tended to turn into ἄρτος. However, the Didache retained κλάσμα (Mazza 1995, 93). The Didache also shows an early understanding of unity as that in the exchaton, while Paul has the (typically later) view of unity in the earthly community of Christ.
Mazza finally adduces 1 Cor. 10:1-4, which typologically takes Christ as the spiritual rock which accompanied Israel in the desert, tying him to both baptism and eucharist (Mazza 1995, 94ff). Mazza concludes that this interpretation may be tied to Didache 10.3. This suggests to Mazza that Paul knew and used both Didache 9 and 10 in his argument, thus dating at least that portion of the Didache prior to Paul's first letter to the Corinthians, which is probably around 57. The eucharistic practice seems already secure at that point, suggesting that it was intiated some time earlier, probably when Paul evangelized the Corinthians during the period 50-52 (Mazza 1995, 97). This is consistent with Mazza's earlier argument based on the "vine of David" passage that the Didache was composed prior to the council at Jerusalem.