Friday's Focus - Didache Articles
Cerfaux, Lucien. "La Multiplication Des Pains Dans La Liturgie de la Didache (Did., IX, 4)." Biblica 40:3, 1959, 943-958.
Cerfaux finds that study of Didache 9:1-4, where the text speaks of bread scattered through the mountains when grown as grain, has not been discussed adequately (Cerfaux 1959, 943-944). Cerfaux provides the Greek text for the sentence in question. He notes it is interesting that in saying τοῦτο κλάσμα (this fragment) is interesting since "this" is an adjective, while it is a pronoun in Matthew 26:26. In contrast, Apostolic Constitutions removes the word "fragment" (Cerfaux 1959, 944). When the comparison is used in Cyprian Ep. 63:13, it is again slightly different (Cerfaux 1959, 944).
Cerfaux notes that Paul, in 1 Cor. 10:16-17, speaks of the fraction of the bread, but does not use the word for "fragment" (Cerfaux 1959, 945). This strikes Cerfaux as an odd situation if in fact the Eucharist is supposed to serve as a unifying element of Christianity. However, the general idea of the Sacrament seems relatively clear (Cerfaux 1959, 946). Cerfaux suggests that the style used in Didache 9:4 is more similar to John's usage, particularly in John 6:3, 11, and 12 (Cerfaux 1959, 947).
Cerfaux considers the similarity between the Didache's language of gathering and John's language of collecting fragments to be very significant. This makes John 6 fit more clearly into a eucharistic context. It also brings a eucharistic significance to the multiplication of the bread (Cerfaux 1959, 950). This was also the opinion of Clement of Alexandria and of Origen. Both considered the multiplication of bread to serve as a reference to the eucharist, particularly in the writing of John (Cerfaux 1959, 951).
The fact is, though on its surface the concept of one piece of bread made from many grains seems novel and specific to the Didache, it is not present solely there. It fits into a good deal of exegetical narrative as well (Cerfaux 1959, 954). Cerfaux provides numerous references to texts which represent this traditiono f exegesis (Cerfaux 1959, 954).
Cerfaux moves on to provide parallel text samples of the various, small, references to the idea, formatted for easy comparison of the wording (Cerfaux 1959, 955).