This seems to be a question that only lawyers could answer but why would footnotes pertaining to the words "make void" in this passage of Romans be understood as nullify?

Romans 3:31, King James Bible "Authorized Version", Cambridge Edition
Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

closed as off-topic by Janus Bahs Jacquet, user66974, tchrist, Kit Z. Fox Jun 12 '14 at 2:13

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    Could you actually quote the verse so we don't have to look it up ourselves? – Mordred Jun 10 '14 at 17:22
  • It would also be good to indicate which Bible version/translation you are using. – choster Jun 10 '14 at 18:46
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    I've flagged this as belonging better on Hermeneutics.SE. – Andrew Leach Jun 10 '14 at 19:41
  • Ever heard of "null and void"? – Kaz Jun 10 '14 at 23:00

Void can be used as an adjective or a verb meaning "to nullify".

Definition per Google:


  1. not valid or legally binding. "the contract was void" synonyms: invalid, null, ineffective, nonviable, useless, worthless, nugatory "the election was void"


  1. NORTH AMERICAN declare that (something) is not valid or legally binding. "the Supreme Court voided the statute" synonyms: invalidate, annul, nullify; negate, quash, cancel, countermand, repeal, revoke, rescind, retract, withdraw, reverse, undo, abolish; vacate; formalabrogate "the contract was voided"
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    Indeed, and in the passage in question it is this adjective sense here, along with the verb make. Some other translations use nullify where the KJV uses make void – Jon Hanna Jun 10 '14 at 17:32
  • @James I don't understand your question (and presumably your downvote). "Make void" is a phrase, the individual parts would have meaning. I think by understanding that "void" means to "nullify" more than adequately answers the original question. – Mordred Jun 10 '14 at 23:32
  • I guess my point is that 'make void' is a well-known verbal phrase and it has a long-standing definition meaning annul or cancel, which are both verbs. Since you've corrected the part-of-speech issue I remove my downvote. – James Jun 11 '14 at 0:15
  • @James Yeah, I was utterly confused by your statement, but it did point out to me that I mistyped adverb. Apparently that was your point all along. :) – Mordred Jun 11 '14 at 1:52

Make void was the 1611 English translation of the Latin term destruimus (Void or undo) http://glosbe.com/la/en/destruimus which was a translation of the Greek katargoumen (make void) http://biblemaster.com/bible/view.asp?number=2673 Some modern translations render the word nullify.

Full Definition of NULLIFY transitive verb 1: to make null; especially: to make legally null and void 2: to make of no value or consequence



The word being translated is καταργοῦμεν, “[we] make of no effect” (LSJ s.v. καταργέω, citing this verse).

I believe that per its own advertisement in the Epistle Dedicatory the KJV translates direct from the “Original Sacred Tongues”—not via Latin.

  • The 'Original Sacred Tongues' doesn't make sense. The original Scriptures were inspired and inerrant, not the languages employed. Many people still believe that the KJV is the version we 'should' use because it was 'authorised'. Better and more accessible modern translations are thankfully available today. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 10 '14 at 21:24
  • @EdwinAshworth, “thankfully” does not meaningfully modify “available” – James Waldby - jwpat7 Jun 11 '14 at 17:30
  • @jwpat7 I'm glad you've realised that, or I would have wondered if commas were necessary to identify the pragmatic marker usage (speaker comment expressing attitude): MW: thankfully 2: as makes one thankful – graceless stadiums ... thankfully going out of fashion . Below, I've given an overview of the different usages, as adverbs and evaluative pragmatic markers (traditionally but incongruously called 'evaluative [sentence] adverbs), and how to avoid the possible ambiguity. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 14 '14 at 10:49
  • @jwpat7 Evaluative adverbs express the speaker's evaluation of an associated statement. This may be agent- (eg wisely) or event- (or content-) (eg regrettably) orientated. They may be used as ordinary adverbs and secondary modifiers, so care needs to be exercised when a medial position is chosen: Happily, they were playing in the garden when the man delivered their Christmas present. // They were playing happily in the garden when the man delivered their Christmas present. /// Happily, they were married. = They were, happily, married. =/= They were happily married. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 14 '14 at 10:51

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