While Christians obviously believe in that Jesus was a real person, many people still question the historicity of Jesus and whether he as an individual actually existed.
Reliable sources from that time period (0 AD/CE - 150 AD/CE) have written about Jesus the man and lend credibility to the idea that he was in fact a real person. The first historian to name Jesus was Titus Flavius Josephus in 94 A.D. in his work, Antiquities of the Jews:
“And there arose about this time Jesus, a wise man, if indeed we should call him a man; for he was a doer of marvelous deeds, a teacher of men who receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ… and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct to this day.”
“A man named James, the brother of Jesus who was called the Christ, and certain others.
Another famed historian, Pubius Cornelius Tacitus, wrote of Jesus and the “notoriously depraved Christians” who followed him in his work, Annals, ca. 116 AD/CE:
“Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judæa, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind.”
The historicity of Jesus cannot be questioned as even the critics of antiquity were firm in their belief that Jesus did exist and was executed by Pontius Pilate. With that in mind, the most famous person to have ever walked the land has got to be Jesus Christ considering he has a following of over 1 billion people scattered on every continent and every country on Earth.
Passionate Programmer, Graphic Designer and Die-Hard Manchester United Fan
The most famous person in my opinion won't be same with the most famous person for you.
If you are religious and you are Christian, you'd say Jesus Christ would be the most famous person, but if you are Muslim, you'd say Mohammad would be the most famous person. If you are not religious, maybe some celebrities would be the most famous person for you. My point is that we would think someone who has high impact on our life would be 'the most famous person'.
There is and never will be THE most famous person who ever lived because we just can't generally say (S)he would be the most famous person. I saw people answering Lincoln, Gandhi, John Lennon, etc. as the most famous person who ever lived but in fact, they are just revealing their opinions and they are not facts.
Anagha Bhat Chandratrey
Thanks for the A2A.
IIRC, the TOI reported back in the late 90s that according to a poll/survey Michael Jackson was more famous in the east (China, Japan etc) than Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, I don't recall any more specifics about that survey.
This question also brings to mind the incident of the Beatles claiming, way back in the 60s, that they were More popular than Jesus.
Irrespective of the veracity of their claims, the common thread seems to be Jesus Christ - he has set the bar for being a famous human being.