Rouwhorst, Gerard. "Chapter Eight: Didache 9-10: A Litmus Test for the Research on Early Christian Liturgy Eucharist." in Van de Sandt, Huub (editor). Matthew and the Didache: Two Documents from the Same Jewish-Christian Milieu? Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2005, 143-156.
Rouwhorst notes the challenge Didache 6-10 presents to scholars. While it speaks in clear terms about liturgy, it is difficult to reconcile its description with the picture we normally have of liturgical development (Rouwhorst 2005, 143). Recent scholarship regarding baptismal formulas and prayer practices has largely resolved these challenges. However, Didache 9-10 and the Eucharist is a greater challenge (Rouwhorst 2005, 144). At its heart, Rouwhorst finds a question of the nature, source, and significance of the meal ritual or rituals which, with adaptation, make up the Eucharist.
When considering the celebration which underlies the current text of the Didache, Rouwhorst considers it important that we identify whether the Didache is intended as a comprehensive church order or as a document which selectively addressed issues which were pressing at the time (Rouwhorst 2005, 145). If it is the latter, there may we ll be elements of the Eucharist which we consider essential but were not mentioned because they were consdiered non-controversial. This allows for a variety of interpretations, including the presence of a large communal meal or an adaptation of a Hellenistic symposium (Rouwhorst 2005, 146). Rouwhorst considers the "missing" elements to be a relatively small problem, as other early Christian documents tend to give what we might consider to be incomplete descriptions of liturgical acts (Rouwhorst 2005, 147). However, the ritual as described in the Didache does make logical sense and may be understood as complete.
The source from which the meal is derived posts a second important question. Rouwhorst takes the prayers in Didache 9-10 to have Jewish origins into which Christian elements were incorporated (Rouwhorst 2005, 149). While there are suggestions that Hellenistic prayer texts could explain some of the differences between known Jewish prayers and those of the Didache, Rouwhorst notes we do not know of any such texts which do so (Rouwhorst 2005, 150). The oral traditional nature of some prayer rituals adds a complication to the question.
Rouwhorst's third question, which he considers the most important, is how Didache 9-10 fits into the development of the celebration of the Eucharist, along with other meal traditions (Rouwhorst 2005, 152). This question is further defined in terms of how we should understand the text, whether as an actual description of the rite at a particular time and place, or as an apologetic or etiological narrative. Rouwhorst evaluates various ways of interpreting the passage in the Didache, then concludes that there are elements of an etiological narrative but that the description, without the institution narrative, reflected actual practice, and that the institution narrative and self-conscious imitation of the Last Supper grew gradually, not becoming complete until the third or fourth century (Rouwhorst 2005, 154).