Kline received his A.B. from Gordon College, Th.B. and Th.M. from Westminster Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania, and Ph.D. in Assyriology and Egyptology from Dropsie College. He enjoyed a long and fruitful professorial career spanning five decades and two coasts, teaching Old Testament at Westminster Theological Seminary (1948-1977), Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (1965-1993), the Claremont School of Theology (1974-1975), Reformed Theological Seminary (1979-1983), and Westminster Seminary California (1981-2002). Kline was a professor emeritus at Westminster Seminary California and Gordon-Conwell until his death. He was an ordained minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.
Building on the legacy of Geerhardus Vos, Kline was an influential voice for covenant theology in the Reformed tradition, providing both new insights into biblical accounts and critical engagement with contemporary biblical scholarship. He is perhaps best known for his contributions on the subject of ancient suzerain–vassal treaties, specifically on the relationship of treaties from the 2nd millennium BC to covenants found in the Bible.
Theologian John Frame has called Kline "the most impressive biblical theologian of my lifetime," adding that Kline's work "is orthodox, yet often original, and it always provides [a] rich analysis of Scripture."
In 2000, a festschrift was published in Kline's honor: Creator Redeemer Consummator: A Festschrift for Meredith G. Kline, ed. H. Griffith and J. R. Muether (Greenville, SC: Reformed Academic Press), featuring scholars (and former students) such as Tremper Longman and Charles Lee Irons.
Some of Kline's many publications include:
- God, Heaven, and Har Magedon: A Covenantal Tale of Cosmos and Telos (2006) ISBN 1-59752-478-6
- Glory in Our Midst: A Biblical-Theological Reading of Zechariah's Night Visions (2001) ISBN 1-57910-599-8
- Kingdom Prologue: Genesis Foundations for a Covenantal Worldview (2000) ISBN 1-59752-564-2
- The Genesis Debate: Three Views on the Days of Creation (contributor, 2000) ISBN 0-9702245-0-8
- Images of the Spirit (1999) ISBN 1-57910-205-0
- The Structure of Biblical Authority (1997) ISBN 1-57910-069-4
- "Space and Time in the Genesis Cosmogony," Perspectives on Science & Christian Faith 48 (1996) pp. 2-15
- "Covenant Theology Under Attack" New Horizons (Feb. 1994)
- By Oath Consigned: A Reinterpretation of the Covenant Signs of Circumcision and Baptism (1968)
- Treaty of the Great King: The Covenant Structure of Deuteronomy: Studies and Commentary (1963)
- "Because It Had Not Rained," Westminster Theological Journal 20 (1958) pp. 146-57.
- The Habiru: Kin or Foe of Israel (Doctoral Thesis, 1958)
- Chapter 28 from Doctrine of the Christian Life, published serially in Reformed Perspectives, vol. 8, no. 37, Sept. 10-16, 2006.
- Meredith Kline Online - a website with a comprehensive collection of Kline's writings
- The Upper Register - a website with publications by and about Kline from his former student and collaborator Lee Irons
- Audio lectures by Kline
- "Covenant Theology and Old Testament Ethics: Meredith G. Kline's Intrusion Ethics" by Jeong Koo Jeon, in Kerux: The Journal of Northwest Theological Seminary, vol. 16, no. 1
- A Glossary of Klinean Terminology
- 'The Feast of Cover-Over' (JETS 1994)