From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [1]

FORERUNNER . The English word gives the exact sense of the Greek prodromos , which, in its classical usage, signifies ‘one who goes before’; it may be as a scout to reconnoitre, or as a herald to announce the coming of the king and to make ready the way for the royal journey.

1. John the Baptist was our Lord’s ‘forerunner.’ The word is never applied to him in the NT, but he was the ‘messenger’ sent ‘before the face’ of the Lord ‘to prepare his way’ (  Matthew 11:10 ,   Mark 1:2 ,   Luke 7:27; cf.   Malachi 3:1 ), and to exhort others to ‘make his paths straight’ (  Mark 1:2; cf.   Isaiah 40:3 ff.).

2. Only in   Hebrews 6:20 is the word ‘forerunner’ found in the EV [Note: English Version.] (Wyclif ‘the bifor goer,’ Rheims ‘the precursor’). Instead of the AV [Note: Authorized Version.] ‘whither the forerunner has for us entered, even Jesus,’ the RV [Note: Revised Version.] rightly renders: ‘whither as a forerunner Jesus entered for us.’ The change is important. To the readers of this Epistle it would be a startling announcement that Jesus had entered the Holy of Holies as a forerunner . Thither the Jewish high priest, one day in the year, went alone (  Hebrews 9:7 ). He was the people’s representative, but he was not their forerunner, for none might dare to follow him. The key-note of the Epistle is that all believers have access with boldness to the presence of the Most Holy God ‘in the blood of Jesus’; they have this boldness because their High Priest has inaugurated for them a fresh and living way (  Hebrews 10:19 ff.). Already within the veil hope enters with assurance, for Jesus has ‘gone that we may follow too.’ As the Forerunner of His redeemed He has inaugurated their entrance, He makes intercession for them, and He is preparing for them a place (  John 14:2 ). Commenting on the significance of this ‘one word,’ Dr. A. B. Bruce says that it ‘expresses the whole essential difference between the Christian and the Levitical religion between the religion that brings men nigh to God, and the religion that kept or left men standing afar off’ ( Expositor , iii. vii. [1888], p. 167 f.).

J. G. Tasker.

Holman Bible Dictionary [2]

prodromos   Hebrews 6:20 Song of Solomon 12:8 Exodus 23:28 Deuteronomy 7:20 Joshua 24:12 prodromos   Numbers 13:20 Isaiah 28:4 1 Corinthians 15:23 Hebrews 2:10 Hebrews 5:8-10

In English, forerunner indicates one who precedes and indicates the approach of another. In this sense John the Baptist is termed the forerunner of Jesus, though the New Testament does not use this term of John. The Old Testament used the common image of advance agents sent ahead of a king to make arrangements for his travel to picture the mission of a prophetic messenger preparing the way for God's coming ( Isaiah 40:3;  Malachi 3:1 ). The application of these texts to John by the New Testament writers ( Matthew 11:10;  Mark 1:2;  Luke 1:76;  Luke 7:27 ) affirm that the coming of Jesus is the coming of God.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [3]

1: Πρόδρομος (Strong'S #4274 — Adjective — prodromos — prod'-rom-os )

an adjective signifying "running forward, going in advance," is used as a noun, of "those who were sent before to take observations," acting as scouts, especially in military matters; or of "one sent before a king" to see that the way was prepared,  Isaiah 40:3; (cp.  Luke 9:52; and, of John the Baptist,  Matthew 11:10 , etc). In the NT it is said of Christ in  Hebrews 6:20 , as going in advance of His followers who are to be where He is, when He comes to receive them to Himself. In the Sept.,  Numbers 13:21 , "forerunners (of the grape);"  Isaiah 28:4 , "an early (fig)."

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [4]

This word occurs only in  Hebrews 6:20, where it is used of our Lord, who has entered within the veil as the Forerunner of redeemed mankind. It is a military term (πρόδρομος) used of the troops which were sent in advance of an army as scouts (Herod. i. 60, iv. 121, 122; Thuc. ii. 22, etc.). Again, a forerunner was sent in advance of a king to prepare the way for him ( Isaiah 40:3). In the NT the Baptist becomes the forerunner of the Christ ( Matthew 11:10). The author of the Epistle shows that the promise made to Abraham still awaits its complete fulfilment-a promise which is made doubly sure, being confirmed by an oath. This promise has been fulfilled by Christ, so that hope may new enter where Jesus, the Son of Man, has already entered to make atonement for us.

The use of this term πρόδρομος emphasizes the fact that Jesus has entered heaven, not as the Jewish high priest entered the Holy of Holies, to return again, but to open a way by which His people may follow, and to prepare a place for them ( John 14:2).

Morley Stevenson.

People's Dictionary of the Bible [5]

Forerunner. A person sent before an army or a noted person. Thus John the Baptist was a messenger who went beforehand to prepare the way of the Lord.  Mark 1:2-3. And Christ is said to be "the forerunner for us,"  Hebrews 6:20, representing and introducing us. For, when as a priest he entered into the holy place, he went thither not for himself merely, but as the head and guide of his people, to open the way and conduct the whole church into his glory.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [6]

Used symbolically of Christ, who has entered within the veil as the forerunner of the saints.  Hebrews 6:20 . It is an allusion to those in high position in the East, who have men to run before them to clear the way, and to announce who is coming. In the case of Christ the reverse is the fact: the Lord has run before His servants; but the term necessarily implies that there are others who are following after.

Webster's Dictionary [7]

(1): ( n.) A predecessor; an ancestor.

(2): ( n.) A messenger sent before to give notice of the approach of others; a harbinger; a sign foreshowing something; a prognostic; as, the forerunner of a fever.

(3): ( n.) A piece of rag terminating the log line.

King James Dictionary [8]


1. A messenger sent before to give notice of the approach of others a harbinger.

My elder brothers, my forerunners came.

2. An ancestor or predecessor. Obs. 3. A prognostic a sign foreshowing something to follow. Certain pains in the head, back and limbs are the forerunners of a fever.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [9]

 Mark 1:2,3 Hebrews 6:20

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [10]

fōr - run´ẽr ( πρόδρομος , pródromos ): This word occurs but once in the Bible: "Whither as a forerunner Jesus entered for us" ( Hebrews 6:20 ). The word signifies one who comes in advance to a place where the rest are to follow, or one who is sent on before as a scout to take observations. In this sense Christ is our forerunner for He has gone into heaven to prepare a place for His people into which He will eventually lead them. The idea of a forerunner is peculiar to the Christian dispensation. The Old Testament Levitical economy knew nothing of such. The high priest was a representative, not a forerunner: where he led, namely, into the Holy of Holies, the people could not follow. He was not the pioneer of the people; Christ is. Christ goes nowhere but where His people may follow. He is the file-leader (compare   Hebrews 12:2 , "the author ... of faith"). He goeth before His people to prepare the way for them, to open the gates of heaven by His atoning blood and priestly intercession. The believer is led into full fellowship with God through Jesus Christ. See also John The Baptist; Runner .

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [11]

is the literal meaning of Πρόδρομος ( Hebrews 6:20), a Precursor, one who not only goes before to a particular place, to lead or prepare the way, but who makes arrangements for those that follow. In this sense it in usually applied to John the Baptist, as the harbinger of Christ. But in the above text (the only one where it occurs in Scripture) it is spoken of Jesus, the high-priest of the new dispensation, as entering before his followers into the heavenly sanctuary, and making expiation of perpetual. efficacy for sinners (comp.  John 14:2).