Originally Posted by Pablo Rafael
It really seems of no importance to me WHO the authors of various portions of the Bible were. What I feel is important is that God speaks through the words that he has preserved and passed down to us. It is pretty certain that Moses did not write the first five books of the Bible (at least not all of them, especially the events that took place after his death.) There was probably more than one author of Isaiah.
I think it is very important to situate books of the Bible in the proper linguistic, cultural and national settings. This includes who wrote the book and who it was written too. The setting helps you understand what the author intended to say when he wrote the passage. This is a fundamental rule of Biblical interpretation: "A passage cannot mean something other than what the author intended it to mean."
Our discussion of "male and female" is a classic example of the need to understand the cultural roots of the author. Is it likely that Paul really used "and" to express the blending of genders before God? Was such a concept even around during his time? Would Paul as a first century Jew be able to write such a thing?
I believe that Paul is simply saying that Male and Female (in their defined gender roles) are equal before God in Christ. I can't read any more into it than that without imposing my modern understanding of gender onto the text (something post-modernist Biblical scholars love to do).