Riggs, John W. "The Sacred Food of Didache 9-10 and Second-Century Ecclesiologies." in Jefford, Clayton (editor). The Didache in Context: essays on its text, history, and transmission. Leiden: Brill, 1995, 256-283.
Riggs sets out to use the prayers of Didache 9-10 as a means by which to understand the trajectory he finds from a table-sharing meal at the time of Jesus to a symbolic sacramental act which he can identify near the end of the second century (Riggs 1995, 256). He begins his argument with a denail, which he considers common in current scholarship, of any "last supper of Jesus such as that which is portrayed in Paul's letter to Corinth or in the gospels" (Riggs 1995, 257). Affirming the work of the Jesus Seminar, he sees the last supper accounts as later ecclesial compositions. The significant element of the narrative, as Riggs suggests is proven by numerous scholars, is that the communal meal as an "occasion for social formation" would certainly be central (Riggs 1995, 259). Riggs and the sources he relies on act with an assumption that all the biblical passages referenced have been heavily redacted so as to create meanings which are often absent from our intuitive understanding of the passages as they stand in their present context.
At some point, but early in its history, Riggs considers there to be a shift from what he would describe as a "pre-Pauline" and "Palestinian" understanding of table fellowship to a more "Markan" and "Hellenistic" view, where the elements themselves become more important than remembering and sharing. After that shift, "divine presence can only be understood as somehting which is present materially, that is, the literal bread and wine themselves" (Riggs 1995, 262, emphasis Riggs'). Riggs considers this to be aview clearly expressed in Ignatius (Riggs 1995, 263). Drawing on 20th century anthropological research, Riggs concludes that accounts of food serve functions, normally to distinguish among various stratas in a society (Riggs 1995, 264).
Riggs finds that the prayer of Didache 9-10 "reveals a transition from table-sharing towards divine food" (Riggs 1995, 265). He theorizes that the lessspecific prayer of chapter 10 was composed earlier, then the more specific elements in chapter nine were inserted so as to remind participants of a meal custom which had been lost but was now re-interpreted as a Christian celebration of the elements (Riggs 1995, 265-266). This coincided with what Riggs would characterize as a decline in Christian missionary activity and a growth in Christian population as the exclusive claims of Christianity were made more plain (Riggs 1995, 267). He takes this shift in the view of eating and drinking to be complete by the close of the second century, and to be evidenced in progress by the Didache, which he places in the middle of the second century (Riggs 1995, 270).
Riggs continues by discussing a distinction of boundaries within the Didache by considering the matter of itinerant prophets and table-sharing (Riggs 1995, 276). He sees this as a development in "patriarchalization" by which the leaders of the Christian community take on the authority of God so as to marginalize others, specifically women (Riggs 1995, 276-277). This is foreshadowed in Ignatius but Riggs sees it more fully developed in the Didache. The table is fenced in Didache 9.5 so as to keep those who are unworthy from eating (Riggs 1995, 278). Riggs takes this to be the work of the bishops and elders, who are permanent officers from within the community, an ideaa he considers akin to the Roman custom of patronage. In Riggs' estimation, this power structure reversed the model in Luke/Acts by which all were welcome (Riggs 1995, 281). It eventually resulted in only the bishop having control over the food supply, and being able to separate the laity from the table (Riggs 1995, 282).
Riggs concludes that the Didache serves as a valuable testament to the development of boundaries regarding food, and thus to exclusion of certain people from power and food (Riggs 1995, 282). He closes with an expression which suggests surprise that Chrsitianity continued to advance in this apparently oppressive atmosphere (Riggs 1995, 283).