Harold Bloom imagined the author of the Court History of David (the document behind most of 2 Samuel) as the husband of the princess he imagined wrote the "Book of J" (the J document that makes up a large part of Genesis, Exodus and Numbers). Richard Elliott Friedman goes this one better: he imagines them as the same person (not committing himself to whether that person was male or female). The basis for the claim is primarily verbal parallels. For example, the "ktonet pasim" (mistranslated "coat of many colours") that Joseph wears in Genesis 37:3 is repeated in 2 Samuel 13: 18, as the garment Tamar, David's daughter, is wearing when she is raped by her half-brother Amnon. And the phrase is repeated nowhere else in the Bible. There are indeed a lot of verbal parallels between the J document and parts of the Deuteronomistic History. The problem is that verbal parallels can occur for a number of different reasons: the same authorship, allusion by one author to the work of an earlier author, or simply by chance. Friedman often tries to suggest that some of the stories in Genesis are parallel to stories in 2 Samuel, but often these parallelisms are phony. For example, Friedman claims that in Genesis four brothers are in contention for the succession to the blessing of Jacob: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, and the blessing falls to the youngest of the four, Judah. Meanwhile in 2 Samuel, four brothers are contending for the succession to David: Amnon, Absalom, Adonijah, and Solomon, and the succession eventually goes to Solomon. But anyone looking back at Genesis would see that (1) a fifth brother is in sharper contention than the four Friedman mentions: Joseph; and (2) the fates of the four sons of Leah are very different from those of the four sons (all by different mothers) of David: only Solomon survives David's death by more than a month. So while by twisting and pushing the two stories can be made to seem to line up, a little reflection suggests that the parallels aren't really parallel. The evidence of the verbal parallels is much stronger, and it may be convincing to some readers. I think, though, that this is a case of looking too hard at the trees and missing the forest. The J narrator and the Court Historian share an ability to deftly characterize persons and to create a swiftly moving plot. But the narratives are very different in flavor. J's story is richly mythic, set among characters who are larger than life, while the Court Historian is presenting a tale of political intrigue among people who are all too human. Friedman's theory finally stands or falls on one question: if there was one writer for both the J narrative and the Court History of David, when did he or she write them? Friedman presents a date toward the end of the ninth century B.C.E. The lateness of the date is chosen to accommodate a phrase in the blessing of Esau by Isaac in Genesis 27:40, which indicates that Edom (the nation founded by Esau) will eventually throw off the yoke of Jacob (the nation of Israel). That happened around the reign of king Joash, about 815 BCE. But it seems very implausible to me that the narrative of the Court History of David was written any later than during the reign of Solomon. The narrative deals in great detail with the personalities not only of David's children but his courtiers--Jonadab, Achithophel, Shimeah, Barzillai--all of whom come alive as people whose virtues and vices made history of David's reign happen. It seems obvious to me that whoever wrote the Court History knew these people; they weren't vague memories or reconstructions of folks who had lived and died over 150 years before. My own guess would be that the person who wrote J knew the Court History of David, was influenced by its vocabulary and turns of phrase, but probably wrote a generation or more later. But I wouldn't insist that anyone agree with me. On Friedman's theory my verdict would be "not proven."