I'm not an Hebrew-Aramaic scholar, but I've followed the most recent discussions on the Hebrew term, bara, and noticed that certain scholars want to militate against traditional views of the verb's denotation.
Bara admittedly has different senses, depending on the context. "Create" even has different meanings in English: creating a song versus creating mayhem as opposed to creating progeny. We also have to look at the whole of scripture and contextualize Genesis 1:1 from which the whole issue arises. I think bereshith indicates creation is the meaning of bara in Gen. 1:1. It appears that bara and asah could be interchangeable at times, but bara likely communicates an idea that asah does not.
Considering the ancient evidence, one finds that the LXX understands bara to mean "create" and the Latin Vulgate follows suit. Is there any ancient evidence to the contrary?
I must admit it's odd to me that so many scholars and members of Judaism (including Rashi, Maimonides and Nachmanides) could be wrong about the meaning of bara. I also find it strange that the Bible at the very outset would not provide information about our ultimate origins, including the origin of matter. As I study Jewish history and what lexicographers have concluded, and most Hebrew scholars today, it is difficult for me to reject the "create" meaning for Gen. 1:1.