I'm of the opinion that the KJV got this right and the subsequent departure is incorrect. I see no evidence that καλέω has the sense of "call into existence", as in BDAG, usage #4 though BDAG then, when expounding on Romans 4 creates a whole new meaning with which I disagree:
...④ From the mngs. ‘summon’ and ‘invite’ there develops the extended
sense choose for receipt of a special benefit or experience, call
(Paus. 10, 32, 13 οὓς ἂν ἡ ῏Ισις καλέσῃ διʼ ἐνυπνίων; Ael. Aristid.
30, 9 K.=10 p. 116 D.: ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ κληθείς) καλούμενος ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ
Hb 5:4. τινὰ εἴς τι someone to someth., in the usage of the NT, as
well as that of the LXX, of the choice of pers. for salvation: God
(much more rarely Christ) calls εἰς τὴν ἑαυτοῦ βασιλείαν καὶ δόξαν 1
Th 2:12; εἰς τὴν αἰώνιον αὐτοῦ δόξαν 1 Pt 5:10. εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνιον 1 Ti
6:12. εἰς κοινωνίαν τοῦ υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ to fellowship with his son 1 Cor
1:9. ἐκ σκότους εἰς τὸ αὐτοῦ φῶς from darkness to his light 1 Pt 2:9.
ἀπὸ σκότους εἰς φῶς 1 Cl 59:2. διὰ τ. χάριτος αὐτοῦ Gal 1:15. for this
God called you through our proclamation, namely to obtain the glory 2
Th 2:14; cp. 1 Th 2:12. καλέσαντι … εἰς τὴν μερίδα τοῦ κλήρους τῶν
ἁγίων Col 1:12 v.l. (for ἱκανώσαντι). Without further modification Ro
8:30; 9:24; 1 Cor 7:17f, 20–22, 24; Eph 1:11 v.l.; 2 Cl 9:5; 10:1.—κ.
κλήσει ἁγίᾳ call with a holy calling 2 Ti 1:9. ἀξίως τῆς κλήσεως ἧς
(attraction, instead of ἣν) ἐκλήθητε worthily of the calling by which
you were called Eph 4:1 (on the constr. s. W-S. §24, 4b; Rob. 478). Of
God: ὁ καλῶν τινά Gal 5:8; 1 Th 5:24. Abs. ὁ καλῶν Ro 9:12. ὁ καλέσας
τινά Gal 1:6; 1 Pt 1:15; 2 Pt 1:3. Likew. of Christ ὁ καλέσας τινά 2
Cl 5:1 (Just., A I, 15, 7). Pass. οἱ κεκλημένοι those who are called
Hb 9:15. κεκλημένοι ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ διʼ αὐτοῦ (=Ἰ. Χρ.) 1 Cl 65:2. οἱ
κεκλημένοι ὑπʼ αὐτοῦ (=υἱοῦ τ. θεοῦ) Hs 9, 14, 5. οἱ κληθέντες Hm 4,
3, 4. S. also 1d.—More closely defined: ἐν δικαιοσύνῃ B 14:7 (Is
42:6). ἐπʼ ἐλευθερίᾳ (s. ἐλευθερία) Gal 5:13. οὐκ ἐπὶ ἀκαθαρσίᾳ ἀλλʼ
ἐν ἁγιασμῷ not for impurity, but in consecration 1 Th 4:7. ἐν εἰρήνῃ
in peace 1 Cor 7:15. ἐκλήθητε ἐν μιᾷ ἐλπίδι τῆς κλήσεως ὑμῶν you were
called in the one hope that you share in your call Eph 4:4. ἡμεῖς διὰ
θελήματος αὐτου (=θεοῦ) ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ κληθέντες 1 Cl 32:4. εἰς
εἰρήνην τοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐν ἐνὶ σώματι Col 3:15. ἐν τῇ σαρκί 2 Cl 9:4. ἐν
Ἰσαάκ Hb 11:18 (=Ro 9:7). πόθεν ἐκλήθημεν καὶ ὑπὸ τίνος καὶ εἰς ὃν
τόπον 2 Cl 1:2. εἰς τοῦτο ἵνα for this reason, that 1 Pt 3:9; cp.
2:21. Of Christ: οὐκ ἦλθον καλέσαι δικαίους ἀλλὰ ἁμαρτωλούς (+ εἰς
μετάνοιαν v.l.) Mt 9:13; Mk 2:17 (on a prob. double sense in this
pass. s. 2); 2 Cl 2:4; cp. vs. 7 (cp. Just., A I, 40, 7 εἰς μετάνοιαν
καλεῖ πάντας ὁ θεός); Lk 5:32 (ἐλήλυθα … εἰς μετάνοιαν). Of God:
ἐκάλεσεν ἡμᾶς οὐκ ὄντας he called us when we did not exist 2 Cl 1:8. ὁ
καλῶν τὰ μὴ ὄντα ὡς ὄντα the one who calls into being what does not
exist Ro 4:17 (Philo, Spec. Leg. 4, 187 τὰ μὴ ὄντα ἐκάλεσεν εἰς τὸ
εἶναι; cp. Is 41:4; 48:13).—Of the call to an office by God p 504
Hb 5:4.—JHempel, Berufung u. Bekehrung (also GBeer Festschr.) ’35;
HWildberger, Jahwes Eigentumsvolk ’60.—B. 1276. DELG. EDNT. M-M. TW.
Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., & Bauer, W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon
of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (3rd ed.,
pp. 503–504). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
A parallel might be the calling of Jeremiah:
Jer_1:5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before
thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained
thee a prophet unto the nations.
I'm of the opinion that Jeremiah "opened the womb" of one of his father's wife and thus "belonged to the LORD":
Exo_13:2 Sanctify unto me all the firstborn, whatsoever openeth the
womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast: it is
This is not, to my mind evidence of a Calvinist style "election to salvation" in that Jeremiah was called to be a prophet before his birth but there is no guarantee provided that he would fulfill his duty faithfully:
Eze_33:6 But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the
trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any
person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his
blood will I require at the watchman's hand.
So perhaps it should be translated "...and calls upon people who don't yet exist as though they do".
Isa 41:4 Who has performed and done this, calling the generations
from the beginning? I, the LORD, the first, and with the last; I am