Although the authorship of this work is in question, one can surmise that if Bach did compose it, he probably did so in the early years of the eighteenth century. For one thing, he wrote another setting of this chorale theme for organ during this time, the BWV 1098, which was discovered in the so-called Neumeister collection in 1985. That work is generally dated to the years 1700-1708. Of course, Bach also did two additional ones for the 1739 Deutsche Orgelmess, but this BWV 740 rendition has less in common with the composer's later style. The contrapuntal activity, while well-crafted, is not as subtle as that in many other Bach keyboard works, despite the five-part writing here (two voices in the pedals). Still, it is a fine effort whose complexity and other features suggest that Bach could well be the composer.
Mendelsohn pictured this piece in a rather subdued way with an 8 ft stop for accompaniment and pedal. That is the way it is usually played.
I heard it played more or less the way of the recording once by George Stam, then Director of the Rotterdam Conservatory and organist of the St. Laurens Church there.
I lthought to myself: well, this is also a good way to proclaim that we all believe in one God and Father. Not by mumbling it, but shouting it from the rooftops.