Voöbus, Arthur. "Part 1: On the Rite of Baptism." "Chapter Four: Prehistory of the Ointment Prayer." Liturgical Traditions in the Didache. Stockholm: ETSE, 1968, 51-60.
In this chapter Voöbus asks whether it is possible to trace an older form of the ointment prayer in the Coptic fragment of the Didache. E. Peterson proposed a reconstruction, strongly influenced by the Apostolic Constitutions. Voöbus considers the dependence proposed by Peterson to be too great Voöbus51). The Coptic papyrus itself is deserving of consideration. Voöbus thinks the recension of the Apostolic Constitutions represents an explication of the Coptic prayer (Voöbus 1968, 52). Yet this does not necessarily confirm that the Coptic version is the original. Nor does it confirm that the prayer was originally part of the Didache.
If the ointment prayer is an original part of the Didache, Voöbus considers how it would fit in (Voöbus 1968, 54). The form is very like a eucharistic prayer. Omission itself seems surprising. Some have suggested it was antiquated and no longer served a liturgical purpose. This could result in its suppression (Voöbus 1968, 55). Yet it would have made more sense for a redactor to simply edit the prayer to be in harmony with current practice.
Voöbus notesthat the prayer is introduced with, "thus as we say" (Voöbus 1968, 56). This suggests the prayer, already in existence, was inserted here. The wording of the prayer is relatively awkward. Yet in its words it clearly states the availability of a number of sacramental gifts. These gifts are given to the people of early Christianity as something precious (Voöbus 1968, 57). The prayer is located in a group of topically related prayers identified as eucharistia (Voöbus 1968, 58). This, to Voöbus, does not seem entirely consistent with the pattern of the rest of the Didache. He considers it may not have been original, or that it could have been moved for some reason in the editorial process. This process is largely invisible to us. However, Voöbus considers the various statements about baptism, from chapter seven, to be evidence of layers of editorial work (Voöbus 1968, 59). In Voöbus' view, as the rituals grew and changed, statements which acknowledged those practices were added. He sees this as following different patterns in different locations (Voöbus 1968, 60).