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John Woodland "Jack" Welch (born 1946) is an LDS law and religion scholar who currently teaches at the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University (BYU).


Welch was founding director of Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS) and is the current editor of the periodical BYU Studies. He was director of publications for the Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Latter-day Saint History. When a young missionary in Germany, Welch discovered many instances of the chiasmus literary form in the Book of Mormon. His finding, published in BYU Studies as "Chiasmus in the Book of Mormon" in 1969,[1] and subsequent publications have shaped scholarly inquiry into the linguistic aspects and historical origin of the Book of Mormon.

Welch received his bachelor's and master's degree from BYU (B.A. in History, M.A. in Latin and Greek).[2] He then studied at Oxford University as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow.[3][4] Welch received his J.D. from Duke University.[5] He is the Robert K. Thomas professor of law in the J. Reuben Clark Law School.

In 1979 Welch founded FARMS while working as a lawyer in southern California. He was a member of the board of editors for the Encyclopedia of Mormonism.[3]

Welch was a co-author of Religion and Law: Biblical-Judaic and Islamic Perspectives (ISBN 0931464390)

He is a contributing scholar for the Joseph Smith Papers Project.[6]


  • Apostles and Bishops in Early Christianity (2004)
  • John W. Welch, and J. Gregory Welch, Charting the Book of Mormon (1999)
  • Chiasmus Bibliography (1999)
  • Chiasmus in Antiquity (1998)
  • Echoes and Evidences of the Book of Mormon (2002)
  • Glimpses of Lehi's Jerusalem (2004)
  • Illuminating the Sermon at the Temple and Sermon on the Mount (1998)
  • Isaiah in the Book of Mormon (1998)
  • King Benjamin's Speech (1998)
  • King Benjamin's Speech Made Simple (1999)
  • Oliver Cowdery: Scribe, Elder, Witness (2006)
  • Pressing Forward with the Book of Mormon (1999)
  • Reexploring the Book of Mormon (1992)
  • The Allegory of the Olive Tree (1994)
  • The Legal Cases in the Book of Mormon (2008)
  • The Sermon at the Temple and the Sermon on the Mount (2010)
  • The Tree of Life (2011)
  • Daniel H. Ludlow, S. Kent Brown, and John W. Welch, To All the World (2000)[7]


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