Matthew's work, Zhamanakagrutyun (Armenian: Ժամանակագրություն), or Chronicle, which he probably began writing in 1113 and completed before 1140, is written in a dialect of Western Armenian and is rather chronological, covering two centuries from the second half of the tenth through the second half of the twelfth. In an article published in 1971 by Armenian academician Levon Khachikyan, the author established that one of the sources Matthew used to write his work was that of an 11th-century vardapet named Hakob Sanahnetsi (Hakob of Sanahin).
He remains the only primary source of certain information about the political and ecclesiastical events of his time and area. The literary and historical knowledge of Matthew was limited, and some of his chronological data is disputed by modern scholars. Matthew was also a fervent Armenian patriot, lamenting the martyrdom of his people and exalting their heroic deeds. To him, scholars and readers are indebted for the record of two documents of importance — a letter from the Byzantine EmperorJohn I Tzimisces, to King Ashot IIIBagratuni and a discourse delivered in the cathedral of Hagia Sophia, Constantinople, in the presence of the Emperor Constantine X Ducas by Gagik II, the exiled Bagratuni king, concerning the doctrinal divergence between the Greek and Armenian churches.
According to some scholars, Matthew was intolerant towards both Greeks and Latins, as well as unsympathetic towards Syrians, judging by allusions made by Abul-Faraj at a later date.
^Runciman, Steven (1951). A History of the Crusades: Volume 1, The First Crusade and the Foundation of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 334. ISBN0-521-06161-X.
^(Armenian) Bartikyan, Hrach. "Matthew of Edessa: His Times and the Chronicle" in Մատթեոս Ուռհայեցի`Ժամանակնագրություն (The Chronicle of Matthew of Edessa). Translation and commentary by Hrach Bartikyan. Yerevan: Armenian SSR: Hayastan Publishing, 1973, p. xxviii.
^See (Armenian) Khachikyan, Levon. "Հակոբ Սանահնեցի՝ Ժամանակագիր 11-րդ դարի" ("Hakob Sanhnetsi, an 11th Century Chronicler"). Banber Yerevani Hamalsarani,№ 1, 1971, pp. 22-48.