Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God Questions and Answers
by Jonathan Edwards

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How does Edwards structure his sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” by using hyperbole to describe the horrors of Hell by intimidating congregants with descriptions of Hell through a litany of wrongs committed by congregants through a series of metaphors describing punishments

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Jonathan Edwards did indeed employ a special kind of structure to his sermon. The four elements you listed (i.e. hyperbole, intimidation, litany of wrongs, and series of metaphors) exist within a greater context, and understanding the whole of the sermon, its message, and what led up to the sermon’s impact help to more effectively understand the structure Edwards used.

First, consider the more traditional, simple structure Edwards employed. While our purpose here is to better discover the full structure of the sermon, we must recognize that  Edwards started with a design conventional for his time--reading and explaining a text (in this case, Deuteronomy 32:35), a teaching on related topics that stem from the text (here, it is expressed in ten points), and directly applying the text to the audience.

Second, changes in the Enfield, Connecticut, community led to the eventual response of repentance expressed by the audience of Edwards’s famous sermon. People were dying of disease and...

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