In Judaism and during the first centuries of Christianity nobody had a bible. The Bible is something we take for granted today but thousands of years ago there was no printing press until 1440 and so if you wanted to make an exact copy of something you wrote the entire book out again word for word.
Therefore those who went to the temple to pray and heard the word of God being spoken had to memorize the stories. They’d take them home and tell their kids these stories around a roaring fire at night. It was never going to be word for word but the guts of the story was always there.
I do this with my kids. Believe it or not it grabs their attention more when I do it than it would if I were to read them from the Bible. There is something about the energy in which I retell the stories along with the vocal inflections and character role play that really keeps them engaged.
Stories such as David and Goliath and Joseph or Tobit really does make for great telling in a fire setting without the Bible itself.
Try it sometime and see how you get on. If you’re having trouble reading them the bible, tell it to them orally and when they become accustomed to the story have them retell and play some characters also.
Great family fun.