BUTRUS SAWIRUS AL-JAMIL, BISHOP OF MALIJ (beginning of 13th c.)
A Bishop, apologist, hagiographer. The limited information that we possess about Butrus al-Jamil, who perhaps received the name Sawirus upon his consecration as bishop of Malij, points to a polemically minded scholar: his Kitab al-Ishraq (The Book of the Sunrise) is a catalog of the errors of other Christian groups (the Melchites, the Franks, the Armenians, the Nestorians, and even the Syrian Orthodox), while his Kitab al-Burhan (The Book of the Demonstration) is a vigorous response to questions by a Muslim in Cairo, in which Butrus argues for the superiority of Christian ethics and prayer.
According to Shams al-Ri’asa Abu al-Barakat ibn Kabar, the Copto-Arabic Synaxarion had been attributed to Butrus al-Jamil. While this attribution has not been verified, it is not impossible that Butrus made a compilation of saints’ lives ordered by date, and that this compilation was later used by others such as Mikha’il, Bishop of Akhmim and Malij, who is usually given major credit for the work.