Mazza, Enrico. "Chapter One: The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, or the Didache." The Origins of the Eucharistic Prayer (tr. Ronald E. Lane). Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1995, 12-41.
Mazza considers the Didache to have drawn ideas from numerous sources and to have presented them as a collection, without substantial reworking to create a coherent whole (Mazza 1995, 13). Because the eucharistic rites of chapters 9-10 hold a position after the moral teaching and initiation into the Christian life, Mazza takes this eucharist to be specifically ted to initiation rather than to indicate a typical pattern in the church.
Strictly speaking, Mazza considers the record of the Eucharist in the Didache not as an anaphora, but as a collection of three different thanksgivings (Mazza 1995, 14). There also appear to be two different thanksgivings, one for the start and the other for the end of the meal. With no reference to the death and resurrection of Christ and no use of the institution account, Mazza questions whether this can be legitimately considered the Lord's Supper or whether it is something else (Mazza 1995, 15).
Mazza explores the relationship between Didache 10 and Deuteronomy 8:10, which both refer to satisfying hunger then giving thanks to God (Mazza 1995, 16-17). He takes this to signify a parallel situation. Of interest to Mazza as a possible application of this passage is the fact that the wording of the thanksgiving (Birkat ha-mazon) is not uniform, but the structure is. He notes it consists of "(1) a blessing of God who feeds us, (2) an act of thanksgiving for the gift of land and food, . . . and (3) a petitionary prayer for Jerusalem" (Mazza 1995, 18). In this Christian version of the prayer, elements one and two are reversed (Mazza 1995, 19). Mazza continues by reviewing the statements in each portion of the prayer of Didache 10.
Didache 10.2 gives thanks to God the Father "for your holy name which you have made to dwell in our hearts…" (Mazza 1995, 20). Mazza considers that it may not be appropriate to consider the "name" as a reference to Jesus, since the specific role of Jesus in the sentence is "child." However, Jewish thought would suggest that we worship God where His name dwells. Participation in the liturgy, then, is entry into the place where God's name dwells (Mazza 1995, 21). For this reason, Mazza considers the heart of the Christian to be the temple of God.
The second strophe is in Didache 10.3a. Here, thanksgiving is made to God for his creation and blessing humans with food (Mazza 1995, 22). Here, reception of a meal and giving of thanks for it is distincitvely tied to Deuteronomy 8:10. The eater is obligated to thank God at the end of a meal (Mazza 1995, 23). Mazza does observe that the giving of thanks, along with other prayers, in Jewish thought, could quote or allude to something and still be understood as capturing the purpose of the prayer (Mazza 1995, 24). This could influence our understanding of the overall purpose of the prayers in the Didache. Mazza does note that Jesus not only told his disciples to continue having ritual meals, but he appointed some new Christian characteristics and purposes. They were "to do this and to do it in his memory" (Mazza 1995, 25, emphasis Mazza's).
Didache 3b then describes specifically Christian developments in the meal. The idea is that the meal gives spiritual food and drink leading to eternal life (Mazza 1995, 25). Mazza sees this as a development in understanding, though not necessarily in the meal itself. The meal remains a time of nourishment and thanks to God, but the Christian understands it as nourishment to eternal life in Christ (Mazza 1995, 26).
Didache 10.5 then gives us the third element of the Birkat ha-mazon, as it makes a petition that God will remember and keep His church (Mazza 1995, 27). Mazza notes the petition differs from the traditional Jewish petition, as it prays for the Church rather than for Jerusalem.
Mazza concludes that while the meal after which we pray in Didache 10 is not a Jewish ritual meal, it springs from that ritual. He understands it as a clear example of a meal received in memory of Christ, consistent with the words of the Last Supper (Mazza 1995, 30).
Didache 9.2-4 follows a different structure. Mazza notes it is not a parallel to chapter 10, thogh both are tripartite. In chapter nine there is a cup, bread, and a prayer of unity (Mazza 1995, 30). This is the beginning of the meal, while chapter 10 is the end of the meal. Mazza sees the prayers at the start of the meal as prallel to the Jewish Kiddush, which dedicates the Sabbath to God with a blessing over a cup, and another over bread (Mazza 1995, 31). Mazza notes that this order is the reverse of that traditional in Christianity, however, in 1 Corinthians 10 and Luke 22 the cup comes before the break. Mazza harmonizes this apparent discrepancy by suggesting that the first cup is simply a drink of thanksgiving and that the second cup, followed by the particularly Christian Birkat ha-mazon is understood as the cup of Christ's blood (Mazza 1995, 32). Mazza furtehr suggests that this pattern of cup-bread represents a very early tradition, being replaced with bread-cup by the time of 1 Corinthians chapter 11 (Mazza 1995, 34).
Didache 9.4 contains a petition which Mazza finds absent from the Kiddush (Mazza 1995, 34). This is a prayer for unity. Mazza considers the theme of God gathering His Church to have come from Didache 10, which he dates earlier than chapter nine. Here, however, the prayer introduces the concept of bread as the symbol of unity. Specifically, the bread broken is the concept which unifies the blessing of the bread and the petition (Mazza 1995, 35).
Mazza considers the prayer to be an important part of dating at least this portion of the Didache. Mazza briefly reviews modern scholarship which strongly points to the Didache in its current form as dating to before A.D. 70 (Mazza 1995, 36). This complete version is apparently built from elements composed earlier, most notably the Two Ways material. The prayers in chapters 9-10 suggest an early date to Mazza, particulary Didache 9.2. "'We thank you, our Father, for the holy vine of David your servant which you have revealed to us through Jesus your Child.' It is unthinkable to place the composition of this text after the separation between the neascent Christian community and Israel, that is, after the events taking place in the so-called Council of Jerusalem" (Mazza 1995, 36). The referent of the "vine" does not make sense as Jesus in this sentence, as the vine is revealed through Jesus. Mazza concludes that here the vine is the salvific history of Israel (Mazza 1995, 37). Jesus serves as a prophet, revealing God's plan.
Mazza also notes the repeated use of the word pais, for "servant" "at the end of every strophe of thanksgiving in which Jesus' revealing work is commemorated" (Mazza 1995, 38). To Mazza, Jesus is portrayed as the final and great eschatological prophet who reveals God's will. The Christology which sees Jesus in this way, in Mazza's estimation, is from an early period. It "presents us with a Jesus still completely immersed within Judaism, one who is interpreted in the light of the Jewish category of prophet" (Mazza 1995, 39). This view contrasts sharply with the Christology known and promulgated as early as the Council of Jerusalem, which Mazza places in 48 or 49 (Mazza 1995, 40) though I am aware of many who would date it as late as 51. In any case, this points to a very early time of composition of chaptesr 9 and 10 of the Didache.