A student, Andrew Bittner, takes re’shiyt (beginning) in Genesis 1:1 as “firstfruits,” suggesting a translation along the lines of “As the firstfruits God created the heavens and earth.”

The translation is philologically plausible, since the Hebrew word refers to whatever is “first,” whether from a father (Genesis 49:3) or, often, from the earth (Exodus 23:19; 34:26; Leviticus 2:12).

The translation is theologically problematic in a way that may be fruitful. Perhaps: Creation, made by the Son according to the pattern of the Logos, is the “first of God’s strength.” Perhaps: Creation is a radical offering, a firstfruits gift that creates the recipient in the very giving of the gift; the first of God’s gifts is the gift of existence, the gift that is the creative act itself.

Perhaps too: Creation is the firstfruits gift of the Father through the Spirit and through the Word to the Word, who will return that gift, glorified, to His Father.