Voöbus, Arthur. "Part 2: On the Rite of the Eucharist." "Chapter Five: Prehistory of the Eucharistic Prayers." Liturgical Traditions in the Didache. Stockholm: ETSE, 1968, 159-171.
Voöbus closes his book with an attempt to trace the origins of the eucharistic prayers, which strike him as being "very archaic" in some elements (Voöbus 1968, 159). Terms such as "the vine of David," the reference to "the Name," and the idea of God "tabernacling" with His people are among these. The elements seem to indicate Jewish thought, including that of the earliest Christian groups. Voöbus takes this to be the case especially in the designation "Servant" for Jesus (Voöbus 1968, 160).
Though it is tempting to take the prayers as adapted Jewish table prayers for an agape meal, this is not acceptable to Voöbus. He is not sure we could prove that Christian liturgical needs could be supplied by Hellenistic Judaism, a proposition which has not been well demonstrated (Voöbus 1968, 161). Moreover, the entire proposition is based on drawing material from different sources bit by bit rather than the more natural composition of new material inspired by older material.
Rather than follow this pathway, Voöbus looks for actual conceptual background elements. The prayer over the cup follows the pattern of a traditional Jewish thanksgiving over a cup. However, in the Didache it has been thoroughly re-purposed to reflect on the gift of salvation in Christ (Voöbus 1968, 163). Likewise, the prayer over the bread takes its start from a Jewish thanksgiving. However, here it is so repurposed the bread is not important. Rather, the invisible gifts of God are at the center (Voöbus 1968, 164). The significance of God's dwelling among his people is similarly present in Jewish thought but it has been amplified in Christian thought to the point of God not only dwelling in the temple but in the blievers (Voöbus 1968, 164). Again, the work of God to draw people into unity is clearly a Jewish idea. However, it now takes on a spiritual significance, with the unity being on the spiritual plane rather than the physical (Voöbus 1968, 165).
The prayer of Didache 10.5 has been compared with the Jewish Birkat hamazon, but Voöbus observes in the Didache there is an introductory fomula which is not found in conjunction with the Jewish prayer (Voöbus 1968, 166). He concludes that the prayer is not borrowed, though the schema is familiar from Jewish thought. It bears a resemblance to a zekor from the Hebrew Psalter (Voöbus 1968, 167). The pattern, which would have been a well knwon form, was adapted, but adapted thoroughly to Christian use (Voöbus 1968, 168).