When God created us we were perfect. Then sin entered our lives through our own fault. This caused our nature and the nature of the world to become a perversion of the original perfection. What was once good was good no longer. Evil came to exist as good gone wrong; perfection twisted.
I can remember my pre-salvation days where I did a lot of things that I regret today. These were things that the culture said were okay. Nothing I did was either culturally or socially unacceptable. But they were all perversions of things God intended to be for good. I didn’t want God’s good, but my own. Most culturally-accepted perversions of God’s perfection are this way. Take sexual relations between a husband and wife as an example – one only need to turn on the television to see how culture has perverted this. Like premarital sex is a perversion of God’s intention, these stories from the ancient Near East are perversions of biblical history.
Many of the stories have surface similarities to the biblical accounts, but when examined further the major differences can be easily seen. In the stories there is not one God, but many Gods. Man did not rebel morally to cause a punishment flood, but made too much noise. The stories do not glorify God, but human kings. Some truth is there (superhuman creation of the world and humanity, a flood, etc.), but this truth has been twisted, much like culture has twisted so many other God-determined purposes, morals, or history.
When confronted by cultural differences with the biblical narratives or morals, the Christian can look back at these stories and know that their situation is not the first time in history when culture has twisted the words of God. This has been going on for a long time. Satan is the “god of this world” and this world creates culture. It should not be surprising, but assuring, that these documents exist which seem to so closely match, but really so much corrupt the truth of what really occurred. Through their differences with the Bible, they point out what is the most important in the Bible.