Friday Files: Klein’s article on Paul’s use of Kalein

, posted by Godismyjudge

William Klein’s article: “Paul’s use of Kalein: A Proposal” challenges us to reconsider the traditional understandings of Paul’s use of kalein, based on linguistic evidence. Kalein typically either means summoning or naming. For Paul, when God is the agent, kalein is a technical term referring to election and salvation. Klein sees Paul’s use of the “naming” sense in Romans 9:25, but it’s more than just designation; kalein is distinctly causative and it transforms a people from the condition “not his people” to the condition “his people”. In other words, the traditional view of kalein implies a Divine call/human faith response, but here Paul seems to be talking about a unilateral “naming” by God of people who are already believers, which makes those named, God’s children. Klein then reviews Paul’s other 26 relevant uses of kalein from the angles of origin, instrumentation, circumstance and goal and notes that this “naming” sense seems to work in all cases except perhaps 2 Thessalonians 2:14 (where it could still work, although it’s less clear).