As I think back on my own education, or as I browse through courses on the New Testament and/or early Christianity on iTunes U, I don't see a whole lot of space given to John the Baptist. This seems wrong to me. Yes, I am biased, but for good reason. John is a central figure in all four canonical gospels, and he makes an appearance in non-canonical gospels such as that of the Ebionites and Nazarenes, Thomas, the Protoevangelium of James, etc. Also, I think it could be argued based on the baptismal practices and pneumatology of the Pauline Churches, as well as the attention given to John in much later composed works such as the Gospel of John and the Book of Acts, that John was highly influential upon the early Jesus movement from its earliest stages well into the second century. I think I've convinced Prof. Rubén Dupertuis of this (who is supervising my internship at Trinity University this semester) and he may give a whole class session to John when he teaches his introduction class next time.
Has anyone else had a different experience? Anyone remember John receiving his fair share of attention when learning about early Christianity and/or New Testament whether as an undergraduate, graduate, seminarian, etc.? (And by fair share I mean attempting to give John as much attention at the NT does.) I'd like to hear about your experience. Or, if you teach, have you found a way to give John some attention?
[I'm going to Israel this summer. Are you interested in sponsoring me?]