The narratives about Jesus compiled in the New Testament are among the best known in world literature and the most significant in the impact they have made on culture, especially but by no means exclusively in the West. As early as the second century, they were referred to as "gospels". Euangelion denotes an especially auspicious announcement, frequently associated with the arrival of a dignitary or the victorious outcome of a military campaign. It undergoes a terminological shift before its application to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, as well as to later works attributed to such figures as Peter, Thomas, Philip, and Mary. During his earthly ministry, Jesus preaches "the gospel of the kingdom", which had as its referent the transcendent reality that God would bring into existence and, indeed, had already dawned with the healing of the sick, the forgiveness of sins, and other wondrous deeds.